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Tim Hasselbeck on D&C: Despite Patriots’ win, lack of WR talent ‘a problem long term’

10.06.14 at 10:02 am ET
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ESPN NFL analyst Tim Hasselbeck joined Dennis & Callahan to discuss the Patriots’€™ win over the Bengals on Sunday night. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

A week after getting beat badly by the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, the Patriots came back home to win convincingly 43-17. New England piled it on early with 20 points in the first half, and then continued the dominance over Cincinnati in the second half.

Hasselbeck said something went more into this win than just a good plan for the Patriots.

“There’€™s no doubt that emotion and feeling like you’€™re up against the wall a little bit and people have counted you out,” Hasselbeck said. “It’€™s just human nature for people to kind of dial it in. Focus it in during the week, which many times translates to how you play come Sunday. But I think it was a combination of that type of thing, good effort and a nice plan.

“I will say, not to pour water on some of the excitement of it, but part of what I’€™m working this morning is some these breakdowns, some of the successful plays New England had on offense. And there’€™s some really, really bad mistakes by a Cincinnati defense that is surprising me by looking at it this morning.”

The Patriots did protect Tom Brady better, which led to almost 300 yards of passing for the quarterback. Still, though, having quality receivers down the field still appears to be an issue for the offense.

“I do think it’€™s a problem long term,” Hasselbeck said of the receivers. “Nothing’€™s been solved in terms of somebody really dominating outside the numbers. I think [Brandon] LaFell’€™s role is kind of what it is for the team right now. And I don’€™t know how much bigger it can truly get. And [Julian] Edelman, he’€™s a fine player, but we know what he is. [Rob Gronkowski] looked to come alive a little bit more and Tim Wright’€™s involvement was fine. But when you look at all of that, that doesn’t solve the fact that you don’€™t have somebody that can really, really dominate outside. And you don’€™t even necessarily have to be totally dominant, but you just have to have the ability to win out there.”

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Read More: Geno Smith, Tim Hasselbeck, Tom Brady,

Live Chat: Trags talks all things Patriots, Boston sports, 10:15 a.m.

10.06.14 at 7:27 am ET
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Join’s Mike Petraglia in breaking down the Patriots’ Sunday night win — along with any other Boston sports issue — Monday morning at 10:15 a.m. Trags is the man who covers more sporting events in this city than any other reporter, so take advantage of his expertise. Get your questions in now …

Live Blog Trags live chat

‘Man’ in full: Darrelle Revis goes head to head vs. Cincinnati WR A.J. Green with positive results

10.06.14 at 4:48 am ET
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Darrelle Revis got an appreciate hug from teammate Tom Brady after Sunday's game. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Darrelle Revis got an appreciate hug from teammate Tom Brady after Sunday’s game. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — On Thursday, Darrelle Revis referenced the fact that he had asked for individual defensive assignments in year’s past, and added he would feel comfortable going to coach Bill Belichick to make a similar request while a member of the Patriots.

But after Sunday’s win over Cincinnati, the cornerback said there was no such conversation this week as the Patriots prepared to play the Bengals. Instead, it was just a matter of game-planning that saw him spend most of the game matched up in man coverage against Cincy’s top receiver, A.J. Green.

“€œI’€™m used to it — to compete and take out the number one guy,” said Revis, who finished with four tackles and a forced fumble, “but whatever the game plan is it is. It’€™s a different game plan week-by-week, and you got to play what the coaches call.”

After a four-game stretch where the Patriots have utilized Revis in zone, as well as some man and off-the-line coverage, it appeared he was mostly in man coverage Sunday against Green. Revis went down briefly in the third quarter with what the team called a hamstring issue. (For what it’s worth, he didn’t appear hobbled after the game.) It wasn’t coincidental that the Bengals went right after his replacement, second-year man Logan Ryan. Revis later returned without incident and helped the Patriots clamp down on the Cincinnati offense in the 43-17 win.

“€œIt was awesome, man. It was very awesome,” Revis said of the victory. “It showed a lot of heart that this team has, and we knew we needed this win. It was against a great football team. They were undefeated, and we just wanted to get this one at home and secure this win.”

In all, Green finished with five catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. When he was working against Revis, it was four receptions for 64 with no TDs. The Bengals took one shot at the end zone when Revis was in Green — that came in the first quarter, and while Revis appeared to come away with a pick, but the play was called back because of offsetting penalties. (Revis was flagged for illegal contact.) Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton found Green for a 19-yard reception in the second quarter, but Revis was able to knock the ball out, and teammate Jamie Collins recovered to set up a Patriots field goal.

“€œOur thing was just be aggressive with him as much as we can the whole game, and try to frustrate him as much as we could,”€ Revis said of Green. “We’€™re going to play aggressive. That’€™s going to be our style.”

Dalton wasn’t shocked to see Revis shadowing Green.

“There had been times when Revis stayed on one side and there have been times when he’€™s flipped,” said Dalton. “But just because he was on A.J. didn’t mean we weren’€™t going to try to throw to A.J., because A.J is really good. I didn’t feel like A.J. matched up with anybody, and so we got a lot of looks there that we thought we were going to get. We just didn’t make enough plays.”

“€œ[Revis] made some plays but I also got open. He played a heck of a game,”€ Green said. “They were not giving up big plays.”

Revis, who was going against Green for the first time at the NFL level, had nothing but good things to say about him after the contest.

“€œI talked to him after the game as well and I just told him I’€™d probably see him down the road in the future,” Revis said of Green. “It was great, a great matchup. He’€™s a great competitor and a great receiver. One of the top guys, so I did talk to him after the game and said, ‘€˜Hey man, just keep up the great work that you’€™re doing and it was good playing against you.'”

Devon Still responds to Patriots support for cancer-stricken daughter

10.06.14 at 3:12 am ET
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The Patriots showed their support for Devon Still and his daughter Leah who is battling cancer during Sunday's game. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The Patriots showed their support for Devon Still and his daughter Leah, who is battling cancer during Sunday’s game. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — As a visitor to Gillette Stadium and his team trailing by 20 points in the second half, Bengals defensive lineman Devon Still took a moment to acknowledge the sellout crowd at Gillette Stadium cheering for him as his face was shown on the video board.

Still’€™s 4-year-old daughter, Leah, is being treated for cancer.

During a break in the action in third quarter, the Patriots showed a video telling Leah’€™s story and then panned to the Bengals sideline showing Still. With the crowd standing and showing its support, Still acknowledged the crowd with a nod.

To show their support the Bengals have made special Devon Still jerseys to be sold with a portion of the proceeds going to help raise money for pediatric cancer care and research.

The Patriots support went beyond the video as Patriots cheerleaders wore the No. 75 jerseys under their jackets on the sideline to show their support for Still.

“I was surprised,”€ Still said after the game. “€œI didn’€™t know they had the jerseys on and then they played the video. It definitely made it emotional to see the cheerleaders take off their jackets and to see the jerseys definitely took it over the top for me.  We came here to play a football game with an opposing team and I didn’€™t expect them to show the support that they did today. It was amazing what they did today. It shows this fight is more than about football.  Everybody is trying to chip in and step up for the cause.”

Patriots owner Robert Kraft also joined the cause donating $25,000 to the Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center.

“I didn’€™t know he gave a donation,” he said. “That’€™s great. It’€™s great how everybody has been stepping up, not just from here [Cincinnati], but across the country. It has just been amazing and it is great for the cancer community.”

Read More: Devon Still,

Vince Wilfork: ‘Best way to answer anything is to win’

10.06.14 at 2:40 am ET
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FOXBORO — Six days ago in Kansas City the Patriots got manhandled in a 41-14 defeat before a national television audience on Monday Night Football.

Following the loss, it was a long week in New England with criticism going all around, no one left behind — €“ even quarterback Tom Brady got his fair share. But in typical Patriots fashion, they responded in the only way they know how — a blowout, 43-17 win of their own over the previously undefeated Bengals on Sunday Night Football.

“Best way to answer anything is to win,”€ 11-year veteran Vince Wilfork said. “If we were sitting here undefeated, everybody would be blowing smoke up us, how great we are. That’€™s why we don’€™t pay attention to anything outside of here. Our job is what we have in here, being able to put it on the practice field and put together a good game plan and try to execute. Tonight we did well. We executed well. That’€™s something that we’€™ve been lacking this season.

“We’€™ve been inconsistent, so we have to start being more consistent playing football, and I think today was a good day to get it going against a good football team, being on Sunday Night Football, Sunday Night Football again on national TV [with] everybody watching. You’€™ve just seen two different teams from Monday night to tonight ‘€“ two different teams. It just goes to show you we’€™re capable of doing it. We just have to continue to do it every day and every week just being more consistent and we’€™ll be alright.”

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Read More: Tom Brady, Vince Wilfork,

Tom Brady ‘can’t put a price tag’ on satisfaction after Patriots’ blowout win

10.06.14 at 2:30 am ET
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FOXBORO — This time when Tom Brady came out of the game for Jimmy Garoppolo, he was feeling nothing but pure satisfaction as the back-up took a knee to end New England’s 43-17 thrashing of the not-ready-for-primetime Bengals Sunday night at Gillette Stadium.

How things can change in just six days.

Brady was 23-of-35 for 292 yards, two touchdowns and a season-best QB rating of 110.7. From the moment he came onto the field to his “PSA” anthem from Jay-Z, Brady was yelling and fired up. And it translated into the most dominating performance at a time when the Patriots needed it the most.

The Patriots were fired up during and after the game, celebrating a sense of relief in the locker room after the most significant regular season win in recent memory.

“I think it’€™s a great opportunity for our team,” Brady said. “We try not to get caught up in that stuff and I think you just focus on the things you can control. To ride the ups and downs of, ‘€˜You’€™re great. You suck. You’€™re great. You suck,’€™ it’€™s exhausting. It’€™s exhausting enough when you’€™re winning to have to deal with those things and when you lose, it sucks for everybody. We don’€™t play this game to go out there and not play well. Guys take it to heart. I think guys worked really hard this week to get prepared for tonight. Like I said, it was a great opportunity for us to come out and show what we’€™re made of.

“You know, we get paid to play football. We get paid to play it well, actually. So, we should go out there and play really well. We work really hard all year round for these moments and what we experience in the locker room after that win, you can’€™t put a price tag on that.”

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Read More: Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots, nfl, Tom Brady

Mike Petraglia, Chris Price break down Patriots’ annihilation of Bengals

10.06.14 at 2:12 am ET
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FOXBORO —’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price break down the Patriots’ 43-17 dismantling of the previously unbeaten Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium. Tom Brady passed the 50,000-yard passing milestone, and the Patriots put together their best all-around effort of the season.

Read More: Chris Price, Cincinnati Bengals, Mike Petraglia, New England Patriots
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